Green Eggs and Slam

DID THE BEASTIE BOYS INVENT THE BLAST BEAT??? #SRSLY

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There are few things internet metal fans love more than rage-fueled pissing contests and/or petty flame wars about incredibly trivial, inconsequential topics. Which is the best Saxon album? Are Waking The Cadaver deathcore or slam?? How big is Danny Spitz’ watch collection?! They’ve settled just about every argument there is to have regarding metal, but not one of the most crucial: WHO INVENTED THE BLAST BEAT? Few know that the answer to this question isn’t some obscure English grindcore band, but the popular college rap band THE BEASTIE BOYS.

As you may know, before they got rich by creating a non-threatening version of urban culture, the Beastie Boys were a pioneering New York City hardcore band back in the early 80s. They were actually highly respected, and played some of the best hardcore in NYC alongside legendary bands like Antidote and Agnostic Front. In fact, the pre-Beasties band The Young & The Useless played the very first show attended by Youth of Today frontman Ray Cappo.

The track above is from 1980 or 81, and it is the first example of a blast beat that I have come across (it is actually played by their original drummer Kate Schellenbach, who went on to be in the lesbot soft rock band Luscious Jackson). Maybe there were other bands who played blasts at the time, but I haven’t been able to track down an earlier example, and it’s likely that this song inspired a lot of other bands who used the blast beat more extensively.  For example, in 1981 the then-nascent Napalm Death was still a peace punk band, but they were avid tape traders and the Beasties were almost certainly on their radar.

Did ENT, Napalm Death and Carcass rip off the Beastie Boys?? Will they ever quit playing boring, PC rap and go back to sick thrash???? Can you find an earlier blast beat than this one??

-Sergeant D.

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